Even with a 16-point margin, wins don't come any uglier.
Optimists will note, however, that Jamaal Charles, LeSean McCoy, Matt Forte and Peterson have been held to 206 yards on 70 carries (2.94 YPC) over the past four Giants games. Jason Pierre-Paul finally is moving better, his pass-rushing partner, Justin Tuck, has rebounded from a disappointing 2012 season and linebacker Jon Beason is plugging the middle since coming over from the Panthers a few weeks ago.
In other words, the league's worst defense no longer rests in the Big Apple. Baby steps.
Here's what else we learned Monday night:
- Peyton Hillis' 81 yards from scrimmage for the Giants led the game, which sums up the quality of offense on both sides. The majority of Hillis' "damage" came after the catch with not one Vikings defender within 10 yards. Slower even than last season (when he appeared to be running on water skis), he fumbled once and failed to make defenders miss in open space. Hillis might be more trustworthy than rookie Michael Cox in pass protection, but he's certainly not better with the ball in his hands.
- Cornerback Marcus Sherels was never a bigger factor in a game than he was Monday night. His 86-yard punt return accounted for the Vikings' lone score. He also authored one of most woeful two-play stretches of the season with a drop of a potential pick six and a muffed punt that led directly to a 1-yard Hillis touchdown.